As this was my first ever race I must admit I did not have very much of an idea what to expect. The alarm went off bright and early and I got out of bed at about 5.50, I must say that I was rather relieved to wake up to a beautiful morning on Sunday rather than the thunderstorm that greeted me on Saturday. (The problem with a lovely day is the heat, but more on that later) We had arranged for the taxi to arrive at 7.15, no buses at that time of the morning on a Saturday or maybe there is, but because of the rebuilding of the bus station all the timetables have been removed.
So my choice was better safe than sorry, and the taxi driver, John, is a great guy anyway. I will admit that I was rather nervous, however I managed to eat something. Pretty sure this will not be my standard race day breakfast though, my stomach had been a little funny all week and whilst it was not mega happy with the breakfast it wasn’t making too much of a fuss either so I guess, OK but not great sums it up. The quest continues…
Anyhow we arrived at the start with more than an hour to spare before the start, the Mr sportingly agreed to come along and to take pictures.
Lovely view from the start line! There was porta-potties there, I was rather relieved (oh bad bad pun) as I was not sure this would be the case. There was also a DJ, rather amusing when the buses were driving past the speakers and blocked out all the sound. The walkers started 30 minutes before the runners, which proved a good things as I had gotten it into my head that we were going in the opposite direction of what we were actually doing…
Here we all are all eager to set off, I presume, can you spot me?
A little easier to find me here… My game plan was to “try to run the whole thing”, yeah I feel I had that one well planned out. As soon as the start went I found a place in the back of the pack, literally as in only one person behind me last. I ran the first 2 km or so with a girl I started talking to near the start. She had trained and ran the half marathon in Malta marathon in March, but hadn’t really trained too much since, so we were both happy to start slowly. At about 2 km she was ready to walk so I continued on by myself, I was happy to have had someone help me keep the speed down in the beginning though. I think I overtook about 2 people between about 2 km and 4 km, however I managed to miss all the markers from 1 km to 4km (I did think that 2 km was well long) so I might have taken it a little more easy than I strictly speaking needed to. However I remembered that the route profile was more or less up up up from 5 km to 7.5 km so easy start = good idea.
So I rounded 5 km in a bright and chirpy mood and still feeling pretty OK, and ready to take on those hills! I did manage to run all the way up, and overtook a few more people on the way. I was very happy to reach the water station at 6 km, it was getting hot! I think more of the water went over my head than in my mouth as I found that drinking water made me feel a little off, gotta work on the watering strategy… At this point I was being overtaken by the fastest runners that had done the extra loop and was heading for the finish, ever so slightly disheartening to see them run off and know that you still have more than 1/4 to go, but the Mr was waiting at that point and that helped.
Please excuse the pink face, it is a family thing… However I was still feeling good at this point, and I knew that the worst of the hills would be done in 0.5km, it was nice with a long stretch of slight downhill and I used this stretch to increase my speed somewhat and overtook a few more people. Including two walkers with a chihuahua, that dog did the whole thing very impressive for such short legs!
Then there were some uphill again until the water station at about 8.5 or so, same one, and then the home stretch. I did run flat out the last km, which really was not all that fast as I was starting to feel it somewhat. Luckily just as I was getting to a point when I found it really hard to continue pushing I was passed by another runner, Nadine, and having her back helped me push all the way to the line. Thanks Nadine!
Yeah really struggling to keep it up here… In the next picture in this photostream I am actually smiling, I have no clue how I managed to do that, or why, because at this point I was seriously close to throwing up. Yeah I know, tmi, but hey at least I pushed it a little bit.
Finish time 1:03:13, so close to the hour, I am pretty sure that I can run 10K under an hour. I gotta run another one now! I can definitely shave 4 minutes off this time, after all now I have some sort of idea of what this distance feels like. Oh and tomorrow (at 8 am ouch!) I am going to my first ever running training… More about that later!
This guy, Ivan Bizet, won the whole thing in 33.13, pretty fast if you ask me! Even more fun as he was here on holiday and just decided to run a 10K, as you do…
And this lady won too! Nadia Portelli her name is, and she ran a superfast 43.43.
I was not last! So I guess that means I’ve reached my goal, and now that I’ve ran the hardest 10K on the island, surely I can run faster in an easier one? Well maybe after the summer, it is getting very hot here…